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The 39 Queensland virus cases that can’t be traced

THE number of mystery Queensland coronavirus cases, where disease detectives have been unable to track down a source for the infection, has risen to 39.

That's a spike of seven cases since a week ago, when Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young ordered increased testing for the virus in Cairns, Brisbane and the Gold Coast, where clusters of untraceable infections had health officials worried about the possibility of ongoing community transmission.

The 39 infections make up less than 4 per cent of Queensland's total of 998 cases.

Queensland cases that cannot be sourced to travel or contact with a known case of COVID-19 pale in comparison to the 350 untraceable infections in NSW.

 

Queensland Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young. Photo: Liam Kidston
Queensland Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young. Photo: Liam Kidston

"At the moment in Queensland there's very limited community transmission," Dr Young said. "We're seeing a lot more in Sydney, which is why I've asked that people who return from Sydney need to go into quarantine for 14 days.

"We've also seen an increase in community transmission down in Victoria."

Victoria has announced expanded testing to better track the spread of the virus in that state.

Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms, such as a fever, cough and breathlessness, will be eligible for testing in Victoria, regardless of age or occupation, the widest available testing in Australia.

 

 

In Queensland, the focus has been on people who have travelled overseas, contacts of known coronavirus cases, people who have travelled from or live in designated coronavirus "hot spots" and those working in at-risk settings, such as health care, aged care, schools and prisons.

Although Queensland has given daily updates about regional case numbers for COVID-19 based on hospital and health service districts, Health Minister Steven Miles foreshadowed more specific data in future.

NSW Health data has been much more detailed, with figures for local government areas.

"Obviously, we've had to put in place data management processes, and that is taking some time, but it is our hope to be able to provide at least local government area level data, and where there are higher numbers of cases in a localgovernment area, to provide that by suburb," Mr Miles said.

"We are working on that and hope to have it available shortly."

 

 

 

 

Originally published as The 39 Queensland virus cases that can't be traced


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